Quinoa, Lentil and Chestnut Loaf (v)

This was an experiment which thankfully worked and used up a packet of stuffing mix and a pack of whole chestnuts left over from Christmas. It freezes well and also makes a nice sandwich filling.

For a 2lb loaf which will cut into 8-10 slices you need

  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup black quinoa
  • 2 tsp stock powder
  • 1 packet of stuffing mix – I used Tesco’s Finest sage and red onion stuffing mix
  • 1 pack whole chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 200ml boiling water
  1. Begin by cooking the lentils and quinoa in 1.5 cups water with the stock powder for 20 mins until the lentils are mushy and the quinoa is cooked. Turn off the heat and leave to cool in a covered pan for at least 30 mins.
  2. Add everything else into the lentil mix and then pack into a lined and greased 2lb loaf tin.
  3. Bake at 170 degrees for 35 mins until cooked through. Slice and serve as part of a roast dinner.

Perfect Potato Dauphinois 


We’ve inherited a milk glut so I’m working my way through recipes that will deal with it. As it’s Sunday, we needed something to be the centrepiece of our evening meal. And this recipe made enough for leftovers tomorrow for a speedy working Monday dinner, win. 

For six portions you need

  • 900g new potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 150ml milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 100g strong cheddar, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

The secret to making a good gratin, that doesn’t need weeks in the oven, isn’t in danger of burning and always ensures fully cooked potatoes is: par boil the potato slices in the milk/cream mixture. I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled across this piece of advice. For years I’d been struggling with gratins either taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r to cook or having to deal with undercooked veg. Not a nice thing in a potato. 

So with that in mind to make this you simply:

  1. Slice the potatoes and onions (extremely carefully!) with a mandolin to ensure even wafer thin slices. 
  2. Place the potatoes and onions into a pan containing everything else apart from the cheddar. 
  3. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes. 
  4. Once par cooked, tip into a baking dish, cover with cheese and bake at 160 for 30-40 mins.
  5. Serve as you wish. We had carrots, cauliflower, peas and nut roast. Yummy. 

Nut Roast with Cashews and Almonds (v)


Who doesn’t love a nice nut roast? My son and I can’t resist them. I’ve been promising for ages that I’d make him a proper roast dinner and finally I did. The roast is a doddle to make and freezes well. You can basically use any combination of nuts and herbs you like. This is what I had lying around in my store cupboard.

For 8-10 slices you need

  • 250g mushrooms
  • 2 onions
  • 125g almonds
  • 125g cashews
  • 200g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs

In a food processor, first make the breadcrumbs. Empty into a bowl and then pulse the nuts until coarsely chopped. You want a combination of finely chopped and large chunks for texture. Tip into the bowl. Add the onion and mushrooms to the processor and puree until finely chopped. You need the water to come out of both of the veggies to help hold the roast together.

Once everything is chopped or blitzed, mix together with the seasoning and herbs. Pack into a 2lb loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper and bake in a 180 degree oven for 30-45 mins. It will darken in colour when cooked and the outside will form a nice crust. Serve as part of a smug bastard veggie roast dinner. It’s also great as the centre piece for a vegan/veggie Christmas dinner and as a stuffing for those who might be eating meat.